By Vera Samuel Anyagafu
Policy dialogue on economic integration for peace is on, as Finland government engages about 70 researchers and policy makers from more than ten African countries, who gathered in Nigeria to deliberate on how regional economic communities, like ECOWAS and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), can promote peace in Africa.
Delivering his key note massage, Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, said that the Africa’s eight Regional Economic Communities were primarily set up to promote economic integration and today they play an increasingly important role also in conflict resolution and peace-building in countries like Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone and elsewhere in Africa.
Speaking also, the head of research at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI), a center for research, documentation and information on Africa, jointly financed by the governments of Finland,
Iceland and Sweden, Professor Victor Adetula, who co-organised the program together with the Nigerian Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and the African Peace building Network, in partnership with ECOWAS and IGAD added that “The performance of traditional organisations like the UN has not been impressive.
Also, most of the global powers are now retreating from active engagement outside their immediate geographical locations. In this context regional organizations have become increasingly visible in promoting peace and development.”
He went further to explain that the purpose of the event is to create links between East and West African experiences, links between research and policy making and also links between lessons learned from prior conflicts to future peace-building processes.
“And to achieve this we will look from within and gather African scholars to exchange ideas on how we deal with conflict resolution in different African contexts”, Director General IPCR, Professor Oshita Oshita, intimated.
However, The African Peace-building Network (APN) is a part of the US-based non-profit Social Science Research Council (SSRC) with a mission to support independent African research on peace-building and its integration into regional and global policy, just as the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) is birth to strengthen Nigeria’s capacity for the promotion of peace and conflict prevention, management and resolution.